A Shared Housing Agenda: Priorities for Ontario in 2018

Ontario has a housing crisis that affects people of diverse ages, income levels, family types, and cultural backgrounds. Affordable housing of decent quality is essential for the health and wellbeing of Ontarians. Some of the most critical barriers to safe and affordable housing are intersectional, especially around gender and racial discrimination. Young millennials getting by on low-paid or contract work struggle to find an affordable apartment, or to save for a home. Newcomers face similar barriers. People living on low wages, pensions or benefits, or in precarious jobs, find few options they can afford. People with disabilities – physical, mental health, age-related, or other – have particular needs not being met by the current housing system. People from racialized communities experience compound disadvantage in the housing market, and also discrimination. The same is true for Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities. These issues require provincial leadership. Ontario can help make sure our housing market works well. It can help people who are struggling to afford market rental or to leave homelessness behind. In a province with escalating housing costs, housing supply shortfalls, but strong economic growth, it is time for action. Building on the opportunity the National Housing Strategy provides, action by Ontario can support local activity to meet community needs. Six housing priorities stand out for Ontario in 2018. These have been identified by the organizations named on this document. They are not listed in order of priority, and action is needed on all of them to meet the housing needs of Ontarians. In sum, this housing crisis is not inevitable. With action and alliances, Ontario can help create a system of housing that meets the needs of community, especially those who are disproportionately more vulnerable than others.

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